team-building activities for work

8 Effective and Fun Team-Building Activities for Work

Team-building activities for work are a fun and effective way to build camaraderie and strong bonds in your business.

In this article, we discuss three broad categories of team-building activities for work — in-person, virtual, and leadership — as well as the specific “games” that will have everyone energized, engaged, and motivated to work together better.

Table of contents

In-person team-building activities for work

In-person team-building activities for work

1) Typing race

As team-building activities for work go, this is an employee favorite — especially for those who work on computers all day, every day.

One way to run this game is to direct everyone to a type racing website where everyone can compete head to head (enter “type race” in your favorite search engine and check out the results).

Another option is to point your browser to a typing test website and give everyone a chance to type the same piece of text to see who’s the fastest.

This game also works well online if you manage a remote or hybrid team. For the online version, have each employee share their screen one at a time and try for the fastest WPM.

2) Puzzle race

The second entry on our list of in-person team-building activities for work is the puzzle race. The instructions are super easy:

  1. Purchase several copies of the same jigsaw puzzle (300 pieces or less works well).
  2. Divide into teams.
  3. Challenge the teams to be the first to assemble their puzzle.

Award prizes to the team that completes the puzzle fastest. If no teams finish, count up the pieces in place to determine the winner.

This is also a fun game to play as individuals, but you might want to use smaller puzzles (i.e., fewer pieces) so team members don’t get overwhelmed.

3) This or that

This Or That is another of our favorite team-building activities for work because it helps team members get to know one another without the pressure of competition.

The game is a variation of the familiar “Would You Rather?” where you ask participants to decide between two options and then explain their choice.

Here are some “Would You Rather…” pairs to get you started:

  • Live the rest of your life in an RV or a sailboat
  • Wear a bathing suit every day or formal attire
  • Have good short-term memory or good long-term memory
  • Have the ability to read or the ability to speak
  • Be able to know the history of the objects you touch or be able to talk to animals

Come up with your own choices to add to the list or google “would you rather” for plenty of options.

4) Navigation

For this team-building activity, you’ll need a blindfold and several “obstacles” to navigate around (empty boxes or piles of cushions work well).

To run the game:

  1. Divide into teams of two.
  2. Blindfold one member of the duo.
  3. Task the other member to guide the “blind” person through the obstacles using only the words right, left, forward, and backward.

The team that gets to the finish line fastest wins the prize. You could also do this activity as sudden death — if a team touches any obstacle, they’re out.

Get creative with this game for a fun and easy way to promote communication, listening, and trust.

Virtual team-building activities for work

In-person team-building activities for work

5) Virtual Q & A

This is probably the simplest option on our list of fun team-building activities for work because it takes very little preparation on your part but is still an effective way for your employees to get to know one another.

Gather everyone together online and ask questions that reveal a bit about each individual or that generate discussion around a topic.

For example, you might ask:

  • What is something you think is totally overrated?
  • Would you rather join Metallica or the New Kids On The Block?
  • Which of your remote coworkers do you think is the tallest?
  • Do you fold your pizza?
  • If you could be any animal for a week, which would you choose?

Want more fun questions? Check out this article from the Sling blog: 200 Creative Team-Building Questions To Break the Ice at Work.

6) Who’s who

This team-building activity requires a bit of work beforehand from both you and your team, but the results are well worth the effort.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Ask employees to email you one of their baby pictures.
  2. Create a collage of those pictures and send a copy to each employee.
  3. Gather everyone together online.
  4. Challenge employees to match the baby picture with the current team member.

The activity can be run as teams or individuals, and answers can be written or oral — whatever works best for you.

You can even institute penalties for wrong guesses, set a maximum number of guesses per turn, or invent your own variations to mix things up (e.g., include a few baby pictures of famous people).

7) Emoji that tune

Emoji That Tune is another employee favorite on this list of team-building activities for work because, while the premise is simple, the execution leads to a lot of laughs.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each person takes a turn sharing their screen.
  2. Set a timer for three to five minutes.
  3. Using a program that generates emojis (a text app, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or some other tech), the person types out the name of their favorite song (or the one played most recently on their device) in nothing but emojis.
  4. The other members of the team take turns trying to guess the name of the song until the timer runs out.
  5. At the end of the time, if no one has guessed, the screen-sharer will reveal the song and share why they chose to use it in this game.

Alternatively, you, as the host, can display the emojis and challenge the team to work together to guess the title.

8) Through the years

Before running this team-building activity, find a random date generator online (GIGAcalculator works well) and experiment with its features. Specify a date range from the birthday of your oldest team member (e.g., 1975) right up to the present.

With that tool on hand, you can gather everyone together online and either generate a new year for each person or generate one year for the whole group.

Then, ask each person to share something significant that happened to them in the year that came up. Depending on the age range of your team, some individuals may have to pass because they weren’t born yet. Just generate a new date until the year is within their lifetime.

This is also a fun activity to run in person either with slips of paper (with years written on them) or coins from the last forty or fifty years.

Schedule time for team-building activities

Schedule time for team-building activities

With the fast pace of business these days, finding time to gather your team together to build camaraderie and strong bonds can be extremely difficult.

Sling makes that job easier with a broad set of features to help your team work effectively and efficiently, including:

Try Sling for free and experience all the benefits of a modern workforce management software suite.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit our blog today.

This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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